Return of the Captain

Markus NaslundAfter watching Vancouver’s victory over Calgary Saturday night, one question keeps resurrecting in my head.

Is Markus Naslund back?

Maybe a more specific question would be, has he finally regained his threatening offensive, Lester B. Pearson-winning form?

Last season, the Canucks’ captain drew criticism left and right for his inability to produce on the scoreboard. His leadership was questioned and his heart was dissected by the media and fans.

However, this offseason Naslund came out and boldly stated that he will rebound in his last contract year.

Promising to shoot more, the 37-year-old did just that tonight on Vancouver’s second goal. If the same play occurred last season, there was no doubt that he would have passed. However, Naslund did not even glance over to see who was opened, as he had his eyes set on the goal where he sniped a beauty between the legs of Kiprusoff. He finished off the night with an assist on the overtime winner and had four shots on net, leading his team to a 4-3 win against the Flames.

Let’s hope this isn’t just flashes of false hope.

I don’t want to get too excited because there is a high possibility of Naslund failing to produce in the next span of games, and continuing the familiar trend of ‘on-and-offs’. But as a Canucks fan, I hope for the opposite.

If Nazzy manages to stay consistent with his efforts, as seen tonight, then the offensive woes of this Vancouver squad just might have a happy ending.

It’s time for a return from the captain.


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